Jelly Babies, Maaan. Jelly Babies.

(We’re not talking jello now, people.)

You’d think there was, like, this religious decree or something, given all the places the jam’s showing up. This is no APPLE jam, now. That’s never not apple sauce. We’re talking strawberry rhubarb; some kinda weird peach/orange marmalade hybrid (still we’re counting it); lemon and blueberry; spicy habañero + some other fruit, I can’t tell, too hot; lemon marmalade, too, but limes are right out for some reason, no one wants green jam, I guess; and finally just some straight-up strawberry, boring as sin, but always tasty somehow, both with chunks-so-you-know-it’s-real and chunks-without-so-you-knows-it’s-not.

There’s a depth of feeling, a passion, a real love of jam that kinda permeates the place. But permeates, that’s just really not a strong enough word, you know, for what we’ve got going on here. Smeared maybe. Or shoved. Splattered, even, sometimes signifies given the kind of, whaddayacallem, morse code or braille scattered about underfoot some days. That would be some trick, I’m thinking, if you could pick up some kinda coded messages (or flavor) from tromping on the sticky floor. It almost might be kinda worth it… Nah.

Let’s get real here. Jam’s not for eating in this place. OK, let’s say you’re an ant: THEN it’s true. Jam is, in this place here, more like an observation, a libation, like those old dead Romans used to do, just spilling some of that old wine on the dusty floor to get some gods’ heads to turn away. (Never toward, man, that’s NEVER good.) There are times when I’m standing barefoot–or even worse, socks–on the sticky floor, not really thinking, more like just trying to drink a cup of coffee and not think, when it seems like toast is not so much a thing you eat as a staging ground for jam.

Let’s just say, I’m glad they’re not drinking coffee yet.


Maze of the Blue Medusa

THE MAZE OF THE BLUE MEDUSA by Zak Sabbath and Patrick Stuart is an amazing piece of art. It’s one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever seen. Which is why I bought it.

Then I read it. It’s simply one of the most amazing and creative things I read in 2016 and maybe ever. It’s filled with maps and charts and strange creatures. The first time I read it, I stayed up way too late a couple of nights in a row reading it. It’s mesmerizing and a bit like being handed a key to a magical world. It reads the way my dreams tend to go, peering into a strange and distant land.

Not only that, but it’s a game as well. It can be played with D&D or pretty much any roleplaying game, I imagine, with a little tweaking. It’s a book that screams, “Here are hundreds of amazing ideas! I dare you not to use them!”

I’ve since used this book to play three games with three different sets of friends. It was simply hours of fun and every time it spun out in a slightly different way.

People who write and publish books as beautiful and imaginative as this one should be rewarded for their effort. Go buy a copy. If the hardcover price seems steep, you can always buy the PDF to preview it. I expect you’ll end up buying the book once you do.


Intending to Jump

Once there was a frog who sat on a log. It was a brown log. The frog liked to call it his b-log or “blog”. The heron who smoked a pipe nearby thought that was a little too on the nose and decided to call the whole thing off.

Moral: Sometimes you gotta get out while the getting is good. Or even mediocre. Or, let’s not kid ourselves, when it’s pretty terrible. Really, isn’t that just the thing? How easy it is to just dump something online, no matter how good or bad it is. The internet, basically weaponized Tourette’s. Which, ok, it’s funny for a little while, but eventually it does get a little old…